Representing, Disseminating, and Debating Controversial Bioethical Issues in Literature and Popularised Discourse
Editors: Roxanne Doerr, Giuseppe De Riso and Giuliana Garzone
Description: This special issue focuses on the linguistic and discursive aspects of the dissemination of knowledge about sensitive and hitherto unforeseen bioethical issues, an area at the intersection between scientific discourse (e.g. medicine, biotechnology, genetics, environmental sciences) and other forms of specialised and professional legal, economic, political, religious discourse. Today, bioethical issues are at the centre of political, legal, and cultural debates (Capron 1993; Menikoff 2001; Rehmann-Sutter, Düwell and Mieth 2006) at a global level. These, in turn, have an important impact on individuals’ and communities’ lives and culture, being strictly connected with human rights and fundamental freedoms (Gordon 2012). Such debates involve complex fields and contested issues (e.g. surrogacy, abortion, genetic manipulation, cloning, euthanasia, cryopreservation, performance enhancement) in which people fear that the application of new scientific experiments and findings could impinge on human rights and the dignity of - and responsibility for - birth, illness, performance, privacy, personhood and death, as well as the integrity and well-being of the environment.